1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
  2. Welcome Back!  Please see this thread for more info about the site outage.  Thank you for your patience as we work out bugs and tweak server configs.

The Major 7 #9 chord

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by afroblue, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. afroblue


    Oct 25, 2012
    So I was exploring minor keys/modes today and found that the 6th mode of the harmonic minor yielded an interesting chord which doesn't pop up too much - the major 7#9 chord. Any examples where this chord is used? Charles Mingus used it as a vamp on the tune Celia (or at least one of the recordings - I believe it was substituted for a minor Major7, ie dropping the major 3rd).
    Waaavy Rosegold likes this.
  2. Michael Karn

    Michael Karn

    Apr 16, 2014
    Joe Henderson uses it in his reharmonization of Without A Song. It's in bar 6, Emaj7 #9 i believe

  3. ba55i5t


    May 24, 2006
    It reminds me of the melodic minor (jazz) scale. I guess it just depends on which tones you will emphasize.
  4. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Is that the "Hendrix chord" from the opening of Purple Haze- E7#9? The same chord is in the chromatic run in Blue and Green.
    IamGroot likes this.
  5. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2010
    "Any examples where this chord is used?"

    I don't think I've ever seen it in the wild, on a gig.

    I have, though, occasionally heard a soloist use the 6th mode of the harmonic minor scale on a lydian sound when they wanted to put a little extra "mustard" on it.
    Winoman and Michael Karn like this.
  6. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Joe Hendo uses it @0:15 in Inner Urge (DbMAJ7,#9 ,#11).
    I am not able to comment on its Modal Lineage or Pedigree, as that kind of thinking hurts my head and is a PITA, ass well.
    Michael Karn likes this.
  7. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    OP is specifying "(E) Major7, #9.
    PH & BinG is the Dominant 7, #9 version of that chord.
    " ....'scuse me, while I kiss this guy...."
    rufus.K, yodedude2, csc2048b and 4 others like this.
  8. Michael Karn

    Michael Karn

    Apr 16, 2014
    "In the wild on a gig"
    I like this very much
  9. A maj7#9 defines the sixth mode of harmonic minor very well. There's almost nothing else you can play that fits the chord.

    You might also want to try a #5maj7#9 which defines the sixth mode of harmonic major (lower fifth like major upper fourth like harmonic minor of the first mode of harmonic major).

    A VII/I slash chord works for both and let's it open if you want to play hMaj VI or hMin VI (or even hMaj IV or more traditional the diminished scale).
  10. afroblue


    Oct 25, 2012
    So like a B/C chord? I see those chords sometimes as endings to tunes. You wouldn't want to emphasis the E too much though would you when you see that?
  11. If you don't see a note defined in a chord it's better not to play it unless you identified the underlying scale and make sure it is part of it. For us bass players it is best to stick to the root or basic triad notes when we see this unless we improvise on the medium to higher end on our instrument.

    If the basic triad is not defined like in a slash chord, better play the root note (bass note) from that chord. That way you don't need to identify weather the bass note is the root of the chord or just a passing note (in which case you shouldn't play triad notes of the bass note).

    In your example B/C you or somebody else should play an E (but the lowest note should still be the C, or the character of the chord gets lost) to make clear that it is not something minor or diminished.
  12. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    (In my study and experience) "B/C" means "a Bmaj triad, with a C note in the bass" - it does not mean "a Bmaj triad with a Cmaj triad in the bass". This is a short-hand method of indicating a chord voicing/sound that the composer wants to occur - It is not intended as an analysis of the chord sound. The composer is assuming that the players will have a deeper knowledge and an aural idea of how to play over this sonority.
    Below is an example of that sonority - @ 0:21 - 0:26 - in this case it is Eb/E (an Ebmaj triad, with an E note in the bass.)
    A "Polychord" is written with a HORIZONTAL line between the chord names (I can't type that format here) if you wanted to specify "a Cmaj triad and a Gbmaj triad to be played simultaneously" (Stravinsky's "Petrushka Chord", for example.)
    My $0.03.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
    craigie and Groove Master like this.
  13. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2010
    The nomenclature taught to me was: Ab/G = Ab triad over G triad versus Ab/Gbass = Ab triad over a single bass note

    This, admittedly, makes for more writing to define the chord, but it does away with the question that may arise, "Is that a horizontal line or an angled line?" (Though it doesn't do away with the question, "This is a wedding gig. What are we doing reading a chart with Beirach-like changes in it?")

    You Mileage May Vary, of course.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
    Don Kasper likes this.
  14. Interesting. This tune was struck (stricken? no, wait. crap...) from a setlist 2 weeks ago. A hot shot tenor player from Holland was invited to front our jazz ensemble for a gig. Said Mad Tenorist directed our drummer to announce his desired songs a week in advance. So I accepted the challenge of learning 5 new tunes in about 6 days. Nice new challenge for me.

    Thankfully, the trumpet player didn't want to hack this one. Me, I'm still listening...killer drum solo in this tune, by the way. After that solo I wonder who really wanted to play this tune in the set. ;)
    damonsmith and Don Kasper like this.
  15. That's what I learned too.

    B/C = B major triad above a C bass note

    -- = B major triad above a C major triad

    But even if the chord is B/C, the underlying scale might contain an E and if this is the case the bass player can play an E as one of the notes which should include a C too to make clear which chord it is and where the root note of the scale is (much more important with slash chords than with traditional stack of third chords).
    matthewbrown likes this.
  16. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Here is that very chord (B/C) @ 0:46 - 0:49, sounding very Cdiminished,maj7...(yes, in this context. There could be other, different contexts.)
    The Cure -
  17. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    A simple solution to this is: B/C means a B Major triad over a C bass note and B Major/C Major means a compound chord.
    Winoman and Don Kasper like this.
  18. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    While I agree, and I hit the LIKE button, I'm not sure that everybody will follow your excellent suggestion and solution.
    Maybe repost using CAPSLOCK?
  19. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    I think it's a safe bet that many will disagree for a plethora of reasons and some of them will even have some valid reasoning! ;)
    Don Kasper likes this.
  20. hhalt

    hhalt Hans Halt

    Nov 26, 2010
    Reno, Nv
    To me B/C implies whole half diminished. B triad/C triad implies Cma7 #9 #11. I like this symmetrical scale-
    C Eb E G Ab B C. Chick Corea uses this scale a lot. Pretty subjective with multiple options.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 12, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.